$66.6 Million Renovation Upgrades 328 Apartments in Three Buildings While Keeping the Homes Affordable Over the Next 30 Years
Queens, New York – Representatives from the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) joined The Arker Companies and partners to celebrate the completion of rehabilitation to Oceanview, Oceanside, and the senior residence Heyson Gardens. The three multifamily buildings located in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens received comprehensive renovations and major systems replacement made possible by the $66.6 million financing from public and private funders. The funding also ensures that the 328 apartments will remain affordable to low-income residents for an additional 30 years.
The Project was rehabilitated under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). The NHMP is a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by 2014. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of more than 156,397 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs with 16,519 of those units in Queens.
“The 328 families that call these properties home are the reason that the preservation of our affordable housing stock is so vital,” said HPD Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “This collaborative effort secured the financing and resources that helped make critical repairs and upgrades that improved living conditions for these families, and which will also ensure that Oceanview, Oceanside, and Heyson Gardens remain affordable for years to come. My thanks to HDC, HUD, the Arker Companies, Wells Fargo, Freddie Mac and to our local elected officials for their commitment to this project.”
“Our efforts to preserve existing affordable housing are vital to the stabilization of New York City neighborhoods,” said HDC President Marc Jahr. “Towards that end, under Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, HDC has financed the preservation of over 48,000 apartments, an irreplaceable source of affordable housing. We monitor the rehabilitation to help ensure the quality of the work. And we structure our loans so that they don’t overwhelm a building’s bottom-line. In exchange for this, we require long-term covenants that will keep rents affordable; protect the rights of residents; and help foster stable communities. “
“It is a good day for HUD when affordable housing is preserved at a time when affordable housing stock is dwindling,” said Mirza Orriols, Acting Regional Administrator for HUD in NY & NJ. “By extending our Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Contract, 328 units will remain affordable for Far Rockaway tenants for an additional 20 years. In addition to the Section 8 program, Freddie Mac was able to work with the NYC Housing Development Corporation to provide mortgage insurance. The preservation of affordable housing is one of HUD’s top priorities, and I am thrilled that our agency is part of the solution that will provide hundreds of families and seniors a new home.”
Daniel Moritz of The Arker Companies said: “We are thrilled to reinvigorate these communities with new life as part of our firm’s continued effort to preserve New York City’s affordable housing stock. We thank Mayor Bloomberg and the elected officials, as well as HPD, HDC, HUD, Freddie Mac, and Wells Fargo for their continued partnership.”
The three multifamily buildings were originally constructed in the 1970’s and contain a total of 328 units of affordable housing. Oceanview, located at 14-10 New Haven Avenue, has a total of 149 units; 57 one-bedroom units, 70 two-bedroom units, and 21 three-bedroom units. One of the two-bedroom apartments is reserved for a superintendent. Oceanside, located at 249 Beach 15th Street, has a total of 149 units including 57 one-bedroom units, 70 two-bedroom units, 21 three-bedroom units, a two-bedroom Superintendent’s unit and one community room. Both Oceanview and Oceanside have one individual community room each. Heyson Gardens, located at 1403 Heyson Road, has a total of 30 units, including 28 one-bedroom units and 2 two-bedroom units. All units in Heyson Gardens have a preference for senior citizens 62 years of age and older.
“In a district composed of modest income communities, I am pleased to see and commend the NYC Housing Development Corporation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, Wells Fargo, Freddie Mac join together in providing quality up-grades to affordable housing facilities that will enhance the caliber of life to a community which is deserving of such assistance after experiencing the devastation for Super Storm Sandy,” said U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. said “For the past year, I've seen Rockaway residents struggle to get back to normal post-Sandy. Additionally, the lack of affordable housing has plagued the peninsula for decades. Having these three buildings renovated will stabilize Far Rockaway and should even attract new residents here. Our moderate, middle-income and senior residents have needed affordable housing after witnessing a decrease in units participating in the affordable housing program, causing prolonged vacancies and high rents. Now these three waterfront buildings, the Oceanview, Oceanside and Heyson Gardens Apartments, with their 328 units, will be preserved, upgraded, and provide affordable rent for the next 30 years. Tenants can even stay in place while all this work in ongoing. I am grateful for the collaborate efforts of many to complete this rehabilitation. This is the kind of project that will reinvigorate Rockaway during the difficult recovery process and become an example of how other projects should work throughout the city."
"Today's ribbon-cutting gives us the opportunity to celebrate a major step forward in the effort to help people avoid being priced out of living in New York City," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. "More than 300 apartments in this complex have been refurbished and will remain part of our city's affordable housing stock for decades to come thanks to a rehabilitation project that will greatly contribute to the revitalization of Far Rockaway, an area that suffered so much due to Superstorm Sandy. I commend all of the public and private-sector partners who helped make this project a huge success."
Councilman Donovan Richards Jr. said “Across the city, people are struggling with housing. We need to ensure that New Yorkers have a safe place to live and are able to feed their families without unnecessary struggle. With that in mind, I am very happy that the quality of life improvements are being made to these essential affordable housing units in Far Rockaway.”
The rehabilitation work included the extensive repair and improvement of each building's major systems, apartment interiors, masonry repairs, elevator and security upgrades. During the upgrades, tenants were able to remain in place, ensuring that disruptions to their daily routines were kept to a minimum. The renovations included extensive energy-efficient upgrades, including the installation of new insulation, new boilers and energy-efficient lighting. The renovations also included the installation of cogeneration plants. The new on-site plants generate electricity while making use of the heat created during the process to minimize waste. The green technology is called Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Technology. Additionally the projects included the installation of Solar Panels to help offset the electrical load of the buildings.
While there are currently no vacant units in this development, apartments in these three buildings were made available to families earning up to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), or no more than $36,120 for an individual or $51,540 for a family of four. The City of New York requires that subsidized apartments be rented through an open lottery system to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to eligible applicants. Marketing of the apartments and the application process for the lottery typically begin when construction is approximately 70 percent complete. For more information regarding the lottery process, current housing lotteries, how to apply to an open lottery, and if you would like to receive an e-mail when HPD updates its available apartment and home website listings for City-subsidized housing in the five boroughs, please visit the Apartment Seekers and Homebuyers pages at www.nyc.gov.
“Freddie Mac is proud to be the credit enhancer for the tax-exempt bonds that provide over $41,000,000 in debt financing for Oceanview, Oceanside and Heyson Gardens, and thus aid in preserving 328 units of affordable housing for the residents of the Rockaway section of Queens,” said Shaun Smith, Senior Director of Targeted Affordable Production for Freddie Mac.
“Congratulations to The Arker Companies and all those involved in the successful preservation of 328 affordable housing units at Oceanview, Oceanside and Heyson Gardens,” said Justin Shackleford, Vice President of Wells Fargo Bank. “Wells Fargo is extremely happy to have been a financing partner in such a worthy transaction.”
The total development cost for Oceanview, Oceanside and Heyson Gardens was $66.6 million. The rehabilitation was financed with a $41.4 million HDC First Loan. The tax-exempt bond portion of the loan is supported by Freddie Mac. The development also received $22 million in Low Income Tax Credits. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) contributed a partial Article XI tax exemption.
About the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC): Since 2000, HDC has issued roughly 10% of all the multi-family housing revenue bonds in the U.S. and since 2003, when Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan was launched, HDC has raised more than $6.7 billion in financing for affordable housing developments, including providing in excess of $1 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. In Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s annual listing of the nation’s top ten funders of multifamily housing, HDC is the only municipal entity on the list. In 2013, HDC was the third largest affordable housing lender in the U.S. after Citi and Wells Fargo, beating out Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. To date, under the Mayor’s plan, HDC has financed the creation or preservation of more than 70,628 of the total 147,890 affordable units. Multifamily buildings financed by HDC contain more than 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com
About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD): HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs, and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by the end of fiscal year 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 156,397 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For regular updates on news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychpd and www.twitter.com/nychousing. For more information, visit our website at www.nyc.gov/hpd.
About the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
About The Arker Companies: The Arker Companies has been building projects in New York City for more than 30 years. Located in Floral Park on Long Island, the development company contracts, owns, and manages multi-family and single-family housing, and retail and office projects. It is one of the leading developers of affordable housing in New York in its building of more than 5,000 units, for rent and for sale. Arker also develops market-rate, commercial and mixed-used projects. Company principals are Sol, Allan and Alex Arker and Daniel Moritz.
About Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
About Freddie Mac: Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters. For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com.